Ultimate Cheese Spaghetti Balls Recipe: A Tasty Twist on Italian Fare

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine biting into a crispy, golden exterior only to discover a delightful surprise of gooey, cheesy spaghetti inside. That’s the magic of cheese spaghetti balls, a creative twist on traditional Italian favorites that combines the comforting goodness of pasta and the irresistible allure of melted cheese. This dish is perfect for those who love to mix things up in the kitchen and enjoy a playful approach to classic flavors.

Ingredients

For the Spaghetti Balls

  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Cheese Filling

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional for a spicy kick)

For the Other Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Oil for frying, enough to submerge the balls

Equipment Needed

To make these scrumptious cheese spaghetti balls, you’ll need a few kitchen tools that will make the process smooth and efficient. Ensuring you have all the necessary equipment ready before you start cooking will help you avoid any mid-recipe scrambles. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large Mixing Bowl: To mix the spaghetti with eggs, Parmesan, and seasonings.
  • Medium Mixing Bowl: Needed for combining the cheeses and herbs to create the filling.
  • Skillet or Deep Fryer: For frying the spaghetti balls. A deep fryer is preferred for even cooking, but a skillet with enough oil works if you keep a watchful eye.
  • Slotted Spoon or Spider Strainer: Essential for safely removing the spaghetti balls from hot oil.
  • Three Shallow Plates: Useful for the flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumb coating stations.
  • Sheet Pan: Lined with parchment paper, helps in arranging the coated balls before frying.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To precisely measure your ingredients.
  • Small Ice Cream Scoop or Spoon: For scooping out uniform portions of the spaghetti mixture and the cheese filling.
  • Kitchen Shears or Knife: To chop the basil or any other herbs you choose to incorporate into your cheese filling.

Gathering these items beforehand will streamline your cooking experience, allowing you to focus more on crafting the perfect batch of cheese spaghetti balls.

Preparation

Now that you’ve assembled all your ingredients and equipment, let’s dive into the preparation process for your cheese spaghetti balls. Follow these steps for a smooth cooking experience and delightful results.

Cooking the Spaghetti

  1. Boil the Pasta: Begin by filling a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt to the water to enhance the pasta’s flavor.
  2. Cook the Spaghetti: Once the water is boiling, add 8 ounces of spaghetti. Stir gently to prevent the strands from sticking together. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions, typically about 8-10 minutes, until al dente.
  3. Drain and Cool: After cooking, drain the spaghetti in a colander. Rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and to keep the spaghetti from sticking. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Preparing the Cheese Filling

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup of cream cheese (softened), 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped basil, and if you like a bit of heat, a pinch of chili flakes.
  2. Mix Thoroughly: Use a fork or a spoon to mix the ingredients together until they are well combined. The cream cheese should be evenly distributed throughout the mozzarella. Set this mixture aside for later use.

Setting Up the Breading Station

  1. Prepare Your Station: Set up three shallow plates. On the first plate, place 1 cup of all-purpose flour. On the second plate, beat 2 eggs thoroughly. On the third plate, spread out 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
  2. Season the Mixtures: Enhance each plate’s contents by sprinkling a pinch of salt and black pepper over the flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs. This step will give your spaghetti balls an extra layer of flavor.
  3. Ready for Assembly: Ensure each plate is within easy reach. You are now ready to assemble your cheese spaghetti balls, which involves coating them in flour, dipping them in egg, and finally rolling them in breadcrumbs.

Assembling the Cheese Spaghetti Balls

Now that you have your spaghetti mixed and your cheese filling creamy and ready, it’s time to assemble these tasty treats.

Filling the Balls

Once your spaghetti mixture has cooled enough to handle, grab a handful and flatten it out on your palm. You should aim for about a quarter cup of spaghetti, pressed into a rough circle. Spoon a generous teaspoon of the cheese mixture onto the center of the spaghetti. Carefully fold the edges of the spaghetti around the cheese, sealing it completely. Gently roll it between your palms to form a smooth ball. Ensure that the cheese is securely enveloped with no gaps or weak spots to prevent leakage during cooking.

Breading the Balls

Once your balls are formed, it’s time to give them a crisp coating. Set up a breading station with three shallow dishes: one with flour, the second with beaten eggs, and the third with breadcrumbs. Roll each spaghetti ball in the flour, shaking off any excess. Next, dip it into the beaten eggs, ensuring it’s completely coated. Finally, roll it in breadcrumbs, pressing slightly to adhere the crumbs evenly. Place the prepared balls on a plate and chill them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help them firm up and maintain their shape during the frying process.

Cooking

Now that your cheese spaghetti balls are chilled and ready, it’s time to cook them to golden perfection. You can choose either frying or baking, depending on your preference.

Frying the Balls

  1. Pour enough vegetable oil into a deep frying pan to fully submerge the spaghetti balls. Heat the oil to 375°F (190°C) using a cooking thermometer to check the temperature.
  2. Carefully place a few balls at a time into the hot oil, avoiding overcrowding to ensure even cooking.
  3. Fry the balls for about 4-5 minutes, or until they turn a deep golden brown. The cheese inside should be nicely melted.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the balls from the oil and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
  5. Serve hot, letting the cheese stretch delightfully as you bite in.

Baking the Balls

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the prepared spaghetti balls on it, ensuring they’re not touching to allow for even cooking.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Halfway through, turn over each ball to ensure all sides get golden and crispy.
  4. Once the outer layer is crisp and golden, remove from the oven.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before serving to enjoy the gooey cheese filling safely.

Serving Suggestions

After you’ve crisply fried or perfectly baked your cheese spaghetti balls, serving them at their best is the next step. Here are some tips for plating and presenting this luscious snack or meal addition:

Accompaniments

To enhance the cheesy goodness of your spaghetti balls, you can partner them with various sides. A classic marinara sauce is highly recommended for dipping, its acidity and herby flavor offering a sharp contrast to the rich, gooey cheese. For a creamier complement, try a garlic aioli or a rich Alfredo sauce.

Plating Tips

Serve your cheese spaghetti balls on a chic platter or a sleek, modern plate to impress your guests. Scatter some fresh basil leaves around the balls for a pop of color and a fresh aromatic allure. If you’ve opted for a dipping sauce, consider serving it in a small bowl beside the spaghetti balls, garnished with a sprinkle of chili flakes or grated Parmesan to maintain the Italian theme.

Pairings

When thinking about what to drink with cheese spaghetti balls, you can lean on a crisp, white wine like a Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay that can cut through the richness with its acidity. For non-alcoholic options, a sparkling water with a twist of lemon serves well to refresh the palate between bites.

Conclusion

Ready to impress at your next dinner party or cozy night in? Cheese spaghetti balls are your ticket to a delightful culinary adventure. Whether you’re frying them to golden perfection or baking for a gooey center these treats are sure to be a hit. Serve them up with a side of marinara sauce or garlic aioli and watch them disappear! Don’t forget to pair with a glass of Pinot Grigio or a refreshing sparkling water with lemon. Dive into the cheesy goodness of this unique dish and enjoy every bite.

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